STORY AND PHOTOS BY CATHERINE RICOUL ENGLISH TRANSLATION BY KAMI L. RICE
Last year the Belle de Mai neighborhood of Marseille, France, gained a garden. Residents are working together to cultivate new life in ground that had lost its former glory. Thanks to our contributor Catherine Ricoul, one of forces behind the garden, we get to meander through the Jardin Levat as it dissolves (think film editing terms) from one season to the next.
It was the colors that surprised me the most. Color is wrapped into the essence of this place. Chiang Mai’s vibrancy is translated in hues of such intensity, often unlike anything I’ve come to know in the States. These colors were formed into surface and texture, adapting pattern and creating form across textiles such as scarves of hand-woven cashmere, and across silk dyed with such delicate precision that it seemed as if nature organically created the object itself.
During a long-anticipated sabbatical in Medellín, Colombia, that took them deeper into this foreign-to-them culture than life as a tourist allows for, experienced travelers Mike and Megan discovered the secret crevices where the triggers of culture shock hide in plain sight. And then they had a choice to make.
Says our resident contributor based in India, “Delhi is a stressful city to live in. Most people say so and that is my experience as well. I’m often drained of words and empathy and playful impulses. Author Lydia Davis and her very short stories guide me once again in attempting to apply words and images to some of our family’s encounters these past few months.”
Joel Carillet’s 2017 travels have included stretches of time in a country that regularly dominates the world’s news cycles. In this photo essay for Culture Keeper, he introduces us to people and stories that don’t make the headlines, but that are just as instructive in creating a true portrait of Iraq as are all the other stories we hear.
Who are the characters who would give life to a story about your neighborhood? Here, Heather Surls answers that question about her own neighborhood by introducing us to those who inhabit its daily comings and goings in Amman, Jordan.
Last week we depended on words to recount a story of travel to Iona, Scotland. In today’s article the voyage is recounted solely through the images captured by a group of photographers who traveled together to the legendary island.
This week our Culture Keeper passports take us to the famed but tiny Scottish island of Iona for a fleeting moment of reflection, as recounted by our newest Culture Keeper contributor.
In A.D. 563 after being banished from his native Ireland, St. Columba landed on Iona in the Southern Hebrides with the intention of bringing Celtic monasticism and Christianity to Scotland as penance. The island happened to be the first spot he reached from which he could no longer see the outline of his beloved Ireland in the distance.
Pull up a chair and lean in as new Culture Keeper contributor Scott Will introduces us to family members you’ll wish you could know too.
I knew it would be hard. I had started preparing my heart and mind nearly one year before the day arrived. And when it did arrive, I knew it was time, and felt great peace with my decision, but I also longed for those last few moments to linger on and on. I stepped up to the six-passenger plane, like numerous times before when I had left for short stretches, but this time I felt the weight of the finality of it all.